Develop an Internship

Develop an Internship

Internships are great opportunities for students to gain career-related work experience. ASU Career and Professional Development Services (CPDS) does not have a formal internship program – but rather, we offer resources to connect employers offering internships with students seeking internships. Internships that meet the criteria listed below and are in compliance with our Recruiting Policy can be posted to Handshake, our online career and internship board.

Need help developing an internship? Check out our Internship Guide for employers, which includes ASU guidelines, sample internship descriptions and tips for putting together a successful internship program.

What is an internship?

An internship is more than a part-time job or volunteer position. Internships integrate knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Interns should have clearly defined learning objectives and a designated mentor or supervisor who has direct experience and expertise in the position duties. Interns should not replace employees or be expected to possess skill and knowledge comparable to an entry-level employee.

What constitutes an internship?

At minimum, the outlined criteria below must be met to qualify as a professional internship:

  • The experience will be for the benefit of the intern, rather than the employer. Interns must not displace regular employees.
  • The intern will receive quality training by a supervisor/mentor who possesses expertise directly related to the intern’s responsibilities.
  • The experience will provide exposure to multiple aspects of a professional career field, organization, or industry.
  • A job description will be provided that includes a detailed explanation of duties and/or projects, required skills or qualifications, and minimum number of hours per week.
  • Clerical or nonprofessional tasks will comprise no more than 20% of the intern’s responsibilities.
  • The intern will be provided with an appropriate work space and resources required to complete assignments.
  • The internship will not involve door-to-door sales or require students to market goods/services/brands to university students on campus.
  • The intern will not be compensated solely on performance or commission.
How can a student receive academic credit for the internship?

If a student is interested in receiving academic credit for an internship with your organization, they must contact their academic department to learn about eligibility and requirements. Internship requirements vary be degree program – you should not guarantee credit for your interns. Please keep in mind that students must also pay to receive internship credit at the same rate as tuition, and, beyond the hours they work for you as an intern, they are also required to complete additional assignments. Because of this, only about 50% of students pursue academic credit.

Information regarding unpaid Internships

ASU Career and Professional Development Services reviews all unpaid internships to ensure they are in compliance with U.S. Department of Labor standards.

The U.S. Department of Labor has developed six criteria for identifying a learner/trainee who may be unpaid. These criteria are as follows:

  1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the employer’s facilities, is similar to training that would be given in a vocational school.
  2. The training is for the benefit of the student.
  3. The student does not displace regular employees, but works under the close observation of a regular employee.
  4. The employer provides the training and derives no immediate benefits from the activities of the student. Occasionally, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.
  5. The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
  6. The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.

All six requirements must be satisfied in order for an intern to be deemed a non-employee trainee (exempt from FLSA minimum wage requirements). All unpaid internships are approved at the discretion of ASU CPDS and we reserve the right to deny internships that we believe are not in compliance with the FLSA.

Submit your internship for review

Not sure if your opportunity meets these guidelines? Submit your internship for review and we will get back to you with feedback and point you in the right direction.

Internship submission form